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Worry As State House Spends Shs951bn In 4 Months

Four months into the implementation of the 2020/2021 national budget, State House has already spent Shs951bn, raising questions on what the Presidency will spend in the next 8 months.

This state of affairs has seen a section of Opposition MPs clash with their counterparts in Government over the Shs951bn expenditure.

The Ministry of Finance recently tabled two supplementary schedules before Parliament indicating that Shs250bn had been spent by State House within the 3% required under the Public Finance Management Act 2015 before Parliamentary approval and was seeking for another Shs201bn for additional funding to cater for classified expenditures.

However, Nandala Mafabi (Budadiri West) protested the approval wondering if it is still logical for Parliament to waste time budgeting for State House because of the institution’s high appetite for supplementary funding.

“We approved a budget of Shs500bn for State House in the national budget. They have already spent Shs250Bn in the first supplementary and now, we have 201bn that is Shs451bn. We are entering Shs951Bn before we enter the second quarter. Is it rationale for us to budget for State House? Why shouldn’t we not have a blanket budget so that they take as much as you want?” he asked.

David Bahati, State Minister for Planning explained that the Shs250Bn is what State House has already appropriated.

Nandala responded, “The Shs951Bn has been spent and that is within four months and they haven’t expired. Would we be privy to information what these are pressures? If Shs1Trillion is spent in four months, it means the remaining eight months we need Shs2Trn. What are these pressures?”

However, Bahati declined to give a rough estimate on how much State House is likely to spend in 2020/2021, saying the National Budget is handled in anticipation.

“We have a classified committee of Parliament and this one was looked at and passed. I know you have ambitions for this office; you will see the pressure in future,” Bahati said.

The classified Committee alluded to by Bahati boasts of membership including, Speaker of Parliament, Chairperson of Accountability Committees, Auditor General, Minister Of Finance and Chairperson Budget Committee.

Cecilia Ogwal backed Nandala saying the perennial supplementary budgets are putting the status of the first family in bad light asking, “What is the demand and absorption capacity for state house? We are putting the image of the first family in bad light and all of us are entitled to defending the first house.”

Nandala insisted on having details of the classified expenditure, arguing that when an institution comes for a supplementary budget, it means other money is finished.

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga moved swiftly to save the day, telling Mafabi that he (Chairperson Public Accounts Committee) will have an opportunity to probe these figures in Public Accounts Committee. 

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